Week 6 Training Recap.

During my long run, I have a lot of time to think, and usually I am formulating what I am going to write for my blog post when I get home… and thinking about all of the food I am going to devour refuel with after my run. For the first half of my run, I was planning on saying that this run was not as great as my last long runs have been. I had some major stomach issues, the wind was kind of cold on my face, I had to dress in layers and wearing tons of clothing makes me feel slow, and I just wasn’t into it. The second half of my run was much different. I was smiling, I was running slightly faster, and I felt like I could go forever. It’s amazing how one run can feel SO different from mile to mile. Luckily, I think I can say overall it was a good run. 

 Yesterday, my heels looked so dry and cracked and callousy (it’s a word, ok?) and weird. I think I had too low of socks on for my new shoes during my workout in the morning, so that didn’t help. I put some polysporin and gauze on them and taped them all up… runner’s feet much? Has anyone else had gross heels from running?

This morning they felt a whole lot better and my feet were ready to run. It was -11 degrees Celsius (feels like -15 with the windchill) so it was back to full length tights and lots of layers. Last week felt like spring running, this week… not so much… it was cold. How did I run in -30 in February?

My long run today was a major deal for me. Not because I set a new distance record (and I LOVE doing that) but because I actually tried fuelling DURING my run today. I am terrible at in-run nutrition. I don’t drink water, and if I do it is about a tablespoon. I have never ever grabbed water at an aid station during a race, and I have never tried eating during a run or sucking back a gel. It scared me. When I started marathon training, I knew that my training was not just about running far distances, but properly running long distance. I would have to learn how to fuel during my run, and how to drink enough to stay hydrated but not so much that I felt sick. Today I challenged myself to learn how to fuel during a run, and actually drink water on the run. 

Gels are messy. And too sweet. So I didn’t even bother trying them. I have had them a few times when my mom and I have walked marathons and ultra marathons, so I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to use those on a run. I tried Honey Stinger energy chews instead, the pomegranate passionfruit flavour. I carried the package in my pocket, close to my body so they wouldn’t freeze, and didn’t quite eat the entire package during my run. I had 3 chews at 8 miles, 2 chews at 11 miles, and 2 at 14 miles. It may be a placebo effect, but I think they worked. I felt strong throughout my entire run and I think that little bit of glycogen helped. 

I usually opt out of running in the cold and some people were surprised I actually ran outdoors instead of jumping on the treadmill, but today I faced the winter weather and ran outdoors. I did however prepare for running outside by running two laps of a 7ish mile course so that if I was too cold or too hot, I could stop at my house and adjust my gear properly. It also meant I could leave a water bottle on the course and create a little water station for myself. Apparently my brother didn’t want to drive/bike beside me and hand me little dixie cups of water the whole run, so I was forced to make a personal water station. 

I had 14 miles on the schedule today. Naturally, I did 17. I can’t even pretend I “accidentally” ran more than I was suppose to anymore. I’ve always been an overachiever. I had a decent pace of 8:18 min/mile… faster than all of my other long runs so far in my training. It must have been the energy chews. Who knew that the millions of other runners around the world who preach fuelling on the run were actually right? I ran one sub-8 mile and unfortunately it wasn’t at the end (I didn’t even try to “sprint” the last mile), it was during one of the major downhills in my route. 

I finished my run on a cute little path by my house. I love that there is hardly any ice on these paths from when it was so warm last week and everything melted. It was a lovely place to end my 17.06 miles.

I think my “faster” pace was also due to the new music I added to my iPod. There were some awesome beats (that’s what the cool kids say) and I think they made me run faster. I will definitely be posting my latest playlist soon – it has some great remixes on it. I think I was singing and dancing along to my music at a few many  points along my run. 

I think it’s a good sign when you get to your scheduled distance of 14 miles and want to keep going. It is also a good sign when you show no signs of slowing down at this point. I didn’t try and run faster at the end like I usually do, but I did try and just maintain pace. 17.06 miles total, 2:21:41, 8:18 min/mile. 

I love this training process and I am learning so much about my body and running. I am figuring out what to eat for breakfast before a long run, and how long I need to wait before I hit the pavement after I eat. Toast with almond butter and banana, at least an hour before I run, seems to be the best so far. Sorry peanut butter, you can be enjoyed after I run. I am also learning what to eat and more importantly what NOT to eat the day before a long run (aka. copious amounts of salad do not go over so well). Today I learned that I CAN eat during a run without feeling super sick, and that it may even give me energy to run faster/farther that I would be able to without fuelling mid-run (don’t make fun of the fact that it took me until now to learn that ;). I am slowly drinking more on my runs, and I make sure to drink lots after my run. I can’t eat right after I run… however I CAN drink a soy americano misto though 🙂 I think the most important thing I have learned so far during training is that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. Finding what works for one person, won’t necessarily work for another. It’s a lot of trial and error and learning what is best for your own body!

This week was fairly successful. 6 weeks down, 10 to go! I am finding that a tiny itty bitty recovery run (even just a mile or two) on Mondays makes my body feel better than not doing any running. Loosening up my running muscles really helps me recover from my long run, instead of taking Monday as a total rest day. The usual interval run and tempo run went great and once again, I had a PDR today (17.06 miles wooo!). 

A total of 45.1 miles this week! I love being in the 40s for weekly mileage. It is tough but it feels good. I am glad I finally tried fuelling during my run and that I found a product I like! 

How was YOUR week?! What is YOUR strategy for fuelling on the run? Personally, I don’t think I would fuel on any run less than a half marathon distance. As for runs longer than a half marathon, taking in little bits of fuel (like easily digestible energy chews or sport beans) after about 8 or 10 miles will likely be my strategy 🙂

Previous Recaps:

Week 1 Training Recap.

Week 2 Training Recap.

Week 3 Training Recap.

Week 4 Training Recap.

Week 5 Training Recap.


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